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A Dream in Red Mansions - 红楼梦 (hóng lóu mèng)
Posted by: Rose520 (IP Logged)
Date: October 09, 2009 01:11AM
红楼梦 (hóng lóu mèng) "A Dream in Red Mansions"

Also called 石头记 (Shitou Ji) "The story of the Stone", this novel written by Cao Xueqin - 曹雪芹 (Cáo Xuěqín) (d. 1763) is said to be the greatest masterpiece of Chinese fiction.

A wide branched scholarship does not consent about the main theme of this novel, should it be a novel of sentiment, of Daoist-Buddhist enlightenment, of social observation, of the decay of an aristocratic familiy, or even a veiled attack on Manchu rule. The frame of the novel is the contest of a Buddhist and a Daoist priest who make be born a young noble boy called Jia Baoyu 贾宝玉 and his girl cousin Lin Daiyu 林黛玉. With a loving detail describing the life of the two cousins in a huge noble mansion, between gardens and palaces, the red thread is the triangular love between Baoyu, Daiyu and a second girl cousin called Xue Baochai 薛宝钗 that is of more plumper character than the ever sick Daiyu. Switching between their life, the divine world and dreams, Baoyu becomes deranged after the disappearance of a stone (the origin of the second title) he had in his mouth when he was born. Not knowing, his love Daiyu died, he is tricked to marrying Baochai. Becoming aware of being tricked, Baoyu leaves the world of the "red dust" and becomes a monk.

With hundreds of persons and their stories, paralleling the life and feelings of servants to the life of the main persons, the story is very complex and full of symbolisms, but very interesting and convincing for its encyclopedic character, depicting the life of a noble familiy in the 18th century Qing China 清.

Four Great Classical Novels - 四大名著

- 《西游记》 Pilgrimage to the West; Journey to the West
- 《三国演义》 The Romance of the Three Kingdoms
- 《红楼梦》 A Dream in Red Mansions (The Story of the Stone)
- 《水浒传》 Heroes of the Marshes; Water Margins

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2009 04:01AM by Olive.

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